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After 20 years, the space where the former Westminster Theatre used to stand is back in business as the St James, a spanking new venue with a studio as well as a steeply raked main house.

Kicking off the inaugural season is broadcaster Sandi Toksvig’s heartfelt two-hander which brings an inarticulate squaddie accused of gross misconduct face to face with an educated Falklands’ veteran, now a major and confined to a wheelchair.

An eight year old boy has been thrown down a well in an unspecified country in the Middle East, and it’s the major’s job to find out exactly what part Private Eddie Clark from Lancashire played in the fatal event.

On the surface, they could hardly be more different - but a sudden explosion changes the dynamic of their relationship, exposing the trauma that combat stress can inflict on servicemen of all ages and backgrounds.

Anthony Andrews (all disciplined stiff upper lip until an extended drinking session reveals the damage beneath the immaculate uniform) and Joshua Miles (edgy, agitated, constantly running his fingers through his hair as though trying to erase memories he cannot forget) give powerfully convincing performances.

Patrick Sandford’s short, thoughtful production is a timely reminder that young men who serve their country overseas often bring an internal conflict back home with them – an emotional scarring emphasised by the inclusion of some unsettling statistics.

St James, 21 Palace Street, SW1E 5JA
Tube | Victoria
Until 27th October
£20.00 - £40.00


Bully Boy review: St James Theatre, London
Digital Mag

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